Last week’s Storm Agnes deposited several phalaropes around North Wales. Globally, there are three members of this family of slim-necked waders, two of which breed in the high Arctic. Unlike other shorebirds that winter along the coast, phalaropes behave more like a seabird, spending their non-breeding season far out in tropical oceans. A Red-necked Phalarope is at RSPB Cors Ddyga, while Grey Phalaropes were on flooded fields at Valley and Dinas Dinlle over the weekend, with others at Criccieth (including one walking down the promenade!), Porthmadog, Porth Oer and Morfa Madryn, near Llanfairfechan. Three more were on Penrhos floods near Llanbedrog, with a Pectoral Sandpiper and Little Stint also there last week. The storm also claimed a Leach’s Petrel, which apparently hit the windows at Pontio in Bangor.
Bardsey had its third Black-and-White Warbler in a week, all three of which were ringed at the Bird Observatory, the only individuals of this North American species ever to be ringed in Europe. More trans-Atlantic vagrants were seen in Britain last week, including a probable Tufted Puffin reported off Porth Oer, and a Monarch butterfly at Rhoscolyn may have made the same crossing. A Wryneck was also found nearby.
Both RSPB Conwy and Cors Ddyga nature reserves hosted Garganey and Cattle Egrets, with three of the white herons in the Cefni Valley and one at Conwy being the first ever at the site. Seven Curlew Sandpipers were at Cors Ddyga, with others at Morfa Madryn, Beddmanarch Bay and the Clwyd estuary, and two Dotterels were in fields near Fort Belan on Friday. Anglesey’s first ever Red-throated Pipit was identified from a sound-recording made at RSPB South Stack on Sunday. Also from the east was a Red-flanked Bluetail in Dyfnant Forest, just south of Lake Vyrnwy. Thousands of Swallows streamed through coastal sites on Monday.
A weekly update of bird sightings and news from North Wales, published in The Daily Post every Thursday.